Monday, July 6, 2020

The Israeli army would have exaggerated the number of ultra-Orthodox soldiers in its ranks

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Inequality in military service is a sensitive subject in Israel. The political stalemate in which the Jewish state finds itself rests, in part, on this thorny issue. Wednesday, December 4, it reappeared in the form of a scandal: between 2011 and 2017, the Israeli army has systematically inflated the number of ultra-orthodox youth (haredim) doing their military service, revealed a survey broadcast by radio public Kan. The army would have wanted to escape criticism on its inability to promote conscription in ultra-religious circles.

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The investigation reveals that the army would have voluntarily doubled, or even tripled, the number of haredim conscripts to match them to the targets. In 2017, she registered 3,070 while they were only 1,300 enlisted. Young people who were not, or more, ultra-Orthodox at the time of their military service would have completed the statistics.

This scandal reveals a loophole in the army's recruitment system, which would never have reached the quotas set by the government for the recruitment of ultra-Orthodox, who represent 11% of the population in Israel. 1st December, the daily newspaper Haaretz established that the number of enrollees haredim had dropped by 20% between 2017 and 2018.

"A mistake" of method

The army recognized " a mistake " method in the count of ultra-Orthodox soldiers recruited in recent years, however, challenging any allegation of falsification. "It's not a swelling of numbers, it comes from our interpretation of who is ultra-orthodox"replied Moti Almoz, the director of human resources of the army, Wednesday. "The definition is not clear, abounds Asaf Malchi of the Israel Institute for Democracy. It is different from other communities such as Bedouins or Ethiopians: for Haredim, one must rely on clothing criteria, on a certain lifestyle. Most of the enlisted youth are often on the margins of the traditional ultra-Orthodox population. "

"The government has tried several times to legislate by setting quotas for the conscription of young Haredim"

An exemption dating from the foundation of the State of Israel (1948) provides young men
religious student in yeshivas (religious schools) to escape conscription, a
mandatory commitment for most of the rest of society. As the ultra-orthodox population has increased significantly, the Israeli public is demanding that the
"Burden" of the army is now assumed more equitably. "The conscription of the ultra-Orthodox is a complex political subject for twenty years, explains Professor Yagil Levy, expert in relations between civil society and the army. The government has tried several times to legislate by introducing quotas for the conscription of young Haredim. "

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